CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 02: Jurickson Profar #2 of the Texas Rangers celebrates after hitting a solo home run at his first MLB at bat during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on September 2, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jurickson Profar made the decision on his own, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the Texas Rangers are giddy about it as the 19-year-old, soon to be 20-year-old, prospect announced over the weekend that he will not play for the Dutch team and his native Curacao in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
While it's still fairly likely Profar will start the 2013 season in Triple-A Round Rock thanks to the Rangers' infield being jam-packed already, Profar could still earn a spot on the big-league roster as a utility/bench player. Of course, the argument can rightfully be made that the top prospect in baseball would be better served playing every day in Triple-A, at least for the short term, than playing once or twice a week and pinch-hitting and pinch-running the rest of the time in Arlington.
His decision to skip out on the WBC will allow him to work with the Rangers throughout spring training, and with Elvis Andrus set to play for Venezuela, he'll be able to get plenty of work at shortstop and plenty of instruction from the Rangers' coaches, including former middle infielder and current Rangers manager Ron Washington.
In other Rangers/WBC news, third baseman Adrian Beltre announced he will skip the first round of the tournament, which begins in early March, with a minor calf strain. He said if the Dominican Republic gets past the first round (they will), he'll reconsider playing.